It has been a long time since I wrote about books. Reading is something I love to do but prior to lockdown I never gave enough time to it. Having extra time at home and being forced to slow down has given me much more time to dive in to my “to be read” stack.
I adore buying books, swapping books and talking about books. I’ll admit that I am not one of these people that sets myself reading challenges, or can read 5 books in a week (unless I’m on holiday). But, all that being said I do love to get lost in all kinds of stories.
Here is what I have read so far throughout lockdown, and I recommend each of these individual stories to you. They’re all totally different, some I adored, some I loved, some took me longer to read than the others, and one in particular I devoured in a day.
The Rumour by Lesley Kara
This book was one that I started and didn’t dedicate enough time to it. It was the classic reading the same line 5 times over again when in bed. Within the 1st few days of lockdown I decided to go for it, and once I started I couldn’t stop. This story is gripping, and full of twists and turns, and spine chilling moments. This book kept me hooked right to the end, literally to the very last line.
If you love a thriller then this is definitely for you. You too will want to help Joanna get to the bottom of the rumour she has heard, that a child killer has recently moved to her village. As the weeks pass she tries to keep away from the gossip, but the more it intrigues her, the more it drags her in and follows her around.
The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May
This is one of those books that I picked up for £2 from The Works. I love mooching at the book wall in The Works, there are some real gems in there. The cover of this book really made me smile, so I literally judged a book by its cover.
It follows the story of Rosa, a happy go lucky girl who is barely making ends meet in London. She then receives a mysterious letter that explains to her that she has inherited a shop in an idyllic Devon town. She decides to go for it and move her life to Cockleberry bay with her little sausage dog.
It sounds so dreamy right? And the story is, but there is more drama in the book than expected. I’d say this is a super easy read, perfect for a relaxing weekend, or to keep things lighthearted on holiday.
If You Could Go Anywhere by Paige Toon
If You Could Go Anywhere came to me exactly when I needed it. Stuck in lockdown with literally nowhere to go but our local park, I read this book and felt a million miles away. I can’t and won’t be able to sing it’s praises highly enough.
Paige Toon is such a wonderful writer and I can picture every inch of her scenarios. This book follows the life of Angie, a 27 year old living in the Australian outback and has never travelled anywhere. She has dreamt her whole life of visiting places in the world, but never had the chance. That is until that moment arises.
Angie heads out of Australia for Italy, and discovers a new life on the other side of the world. The story which leads her to Italy is heart warming and heart breaking. Then what she experiences in Italy is the same, heart warming, heart fluttering and heart breaking. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions this book, and I felt every emotion Angie went through.
If you feel like you really need an escape, then this is the book for you.
Five Years From Now by Paige Toon
My sister insisted I was to read this book. Insisted to the point that when she gave it to me, she checked every day if I had started it yet. Once I started it I couldn’t put it down, this is the book that I read in a day.
I only looked up from this story to eat and occasionally move where I was sitting.
This is a real romantic, but heart wrenching tale. Nell and Van met as children, and it follows them to adulthood in five year intervals of their lives. It’s hard to not love both of these characters, especially Van. Talk about falling for a fictional character. I loved this book because it felt real. It felt like a true to life story, being set in Cornwall, Australia and even throws in a little mention of Liverpool.
Paige researches the locations of her books so well, so you really transport your imagination to these places. I haven’t stopped thinking about this book since I finished it, especially the ending. It is one of those books that I will read again, and that doesn’t happen very often with me.
Half A World Away by Mike Gayle
I was drawn to this book because it seemed like a modern day Blood Brothers. It’s set in London and tells the story of Noah and Kerry, who are brother and sister. They have lived completely different lives, due to being taken in to care as children, and separated from one another.
The book moves along at a slow pace, which gives it a very true to life, modern feel. It’s a nothing out the ordinary story, which is what makes it so relatable. It took me a little while to get my teeth in to it, but once I did I really enjoyed it. And needed a box of tissues near by me for the last few chapters.
I loved the split chapters in the perspectives of both Noah and Kerry. It showed how 2 people who live in the same city can have 2 completely different lives. The book touches upon race, class, and every day life in a really good way.
One In A Million by Lindsey Kelk
Lindsey Kelk is up there as one of my favourite authors. I have read all of her books, apart from her very latest, In Case You Missed It.
One In A Million has been sat on my bookshelf for ages. Which is my own fault but there are times and places to read Lindsey’s books. I always tend to save them for holidays or mini breaks because I enjoy them that much that I whizz through them when relaxing and not moving from a sun lounger. Plus, when I am laughing out loud it’s all ok, because no one around me knows who I am.
This book is another hit for Lindsey. It’s the perfect funny and romantic stand alone novel. It follows Annie, who has launched her own Social Media Agency business. In her shared office building, a team from another company challenge her to make a totally random stranger Instagram famous in just 30 days. Queue the meet cute with Dr Samual Page. As the story unfolds you’re kept guessing on the social media front, and the romantic front. If you’re a Lindsey fan, this is a must read.
The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
This is the book I struggled with the most. I hate to start off writing about it like this, because it’s well written and I could picture every scene, but every now and then you come across a book that you just don’t connect with. I’d read and heard so many good reviews about this book that I thought I was going to love it. Sadly that wasn’t the case for me.
The story is about Susan Green, a woman who is described as “prickly” and “hard to understand” by those around her. Yet Susan likes herself, her life, and her home just as it is. She is in her 40s and living a perfectly ordinary life in London, until 2 major life events happen to her.
This story is described as a blossoming story, and a coming of age novel at no matter how old you are. But I didn’t connect with Susan at all. Many compared her to Eleanor Oliphant, whom I loved and understood straight away. However Susan just came across very uppity and un-likeable to me. I’m sure many of you that have read this will disagree, and really loved the story.
To Be Read
We’re not meant to like every book, that’s what makes reading so fun. We all like different genres, different tales and different characters. All of these books were totaly different and I found something I loved in each of them.
My “to be read” stack is still huge. But I will continue to make my way through it. Would you like another round up post on the next few books that I read? I would also love it if after reading this post any recommendations come to mind for me.
I hope you are all keeping well. Do let me know if you read any of these.